A display of plants / plant parts used in ‘Matoli’ – a canopy of plants / plant products on a structure below which the idol of Lord Ganesha is kept & worshipped during Ganesh Chaturthi festival – was arranged by the Botany students of Semester III (S.Y. B.Sc.) under the supervision of the faculty, on 2nd of September, 2016. The main objective of this display was to showcase the seasonal plant biodiversity of Goa & and to give an awareness with regard to the strong bonding between culture & ecology of a region.
There were 23 plant species kept on display with the vernacular & scientific names with a note on the ecological significance of the festival. Majority of the plants/ plant parts used were wild species growing in natural habitats within Goa. Entire plants, plant parts like twigs, leaves, flowers & fruits along with seasonal vegetables were in use for the decoration. Some of the plants included Matti (Terminalia crenulata), Tiger claws/ ‘Aga Boska’ (Gloriosa superba), Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Guava (Psidium guajava), Chikoo (Achras sapota), Passion fruit (Passiflora sp.) etc. were some species which formed a part of ‘Matoli’.
The activity provided a lot of insight into the seasonal variations in plant diversity & ecological significance of festivals like ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’.